Mar 2, 2020

Female Bowl-Bearing Figure

Female Bowl-Bearing Figure

late 1800s-early 1900s

Part of a set. See all set records

Wood, glass beads, upholstery studs, plant fiber, and iron

Overall: 40.8 x 16.1 x 27.3 cm (16 1/16 x 6 5/16 x 10 3/4 in.)

René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.454.a

Did you know?

The object once belonged to Gaston Heenen, the Governor-general of the Belgian Congo from February 21–April 16, 1939.


This bowl-bearing figure functioned as an oracle for a royal diviner who used it to reveal the origin of problems brought to his attention. The diviner would dispense to his patient a mixture of medicinal substances and chalk from the bowl. This sculpture also served to protect and heal the local village as a whole.

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